Concord and Claremont Railroad
|Headquarters||Claremont, New Hampshire|
|Dates of operation||June 24, 1848–1875|
|Successor||Boston & Maine Railroad|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
Chartered on June 24, 1848, the Concord and Claremont Railroad was established and construction had begun on November 19, 1848. Approximately ten months later on September 21, the railroad was opened from Concord to Warner.
The very first train to travel the line left Warner and had approximately 500 passengers aboard the 9 passenger coaches. On the return trip from Concord, the train carried about 800 passengers on the 18 passenger coaches which required a second locomotive pushing from the rear. The original railroad line was only 18 miles (29 km) long, but it was soon extended through Bradford, adding 9 miles (14 km) to the line.
In 1852, the railroad filed for bankruptcy; it was merged in 1853 with the New Hampshire Central Railroad forming what was known as the Merrimac and Connecticut Rivers Railroad Company. In 1874, the Sugar River Railroad, which built and ran their rail line from Newport to Claremont, merged with the Contoocook Valley Railroad and again created the Concord and Claremont Railroad, under the control of the Northern Railroad.
The Claremont and Concord Railroad was established in 1954 when shortline railroad operator Samuel Pinsly purchased 55 miles (89 km) of track between Claremont Junction and Concord from the Boston and Maine Railroad. A succession of abandonments between 1961 and 1977 cut the line back to just four miles (6 km) between Claremont and Claremont Junction.
In 1988, the line was sold to a local lumber dealer that renamed the operation Claremont-Concord Railroad. In 2015 the railroad was acquired by Genesee and Wyoming Industries and integrated into its New England Central Railroad.
Difficult economic times and the advancement of the automobile forced many railroads to close rail lines. The Boston & Maine Railroad was to sell off the rights to many of the lines and rights of way it held, freeing up the Claremont branch as an independent in 1954, this time as the Claremont and Concord Railroad. Once this had taken place, the Claremont and Concord's abandonments took place from east to west:
- 1960: 9 miles, W. Concord - west to Contoocook
- 1961: 17.6 miles, Contoocook - west to Bradford
- 1964: 16+ miles, Bradford - northwest to Newport
- 1977: 11 miles, Newport - west to Claremont
- 1988: 1.5 miles within Claremont
- 1988: 3 mile section - Electric Claremont Railway (opened in 1903)
The Claremont Concord Railroad now operates 2 miles (3 km) between Claremont Junction on the main line to Claremont as a subsidiary of New England Central Railroad, itself a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Industries.
- "A Bit Of History". Newportnhhistory.org. 1972-03-20. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
- "history". web.archive.org. 2015-09-19. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
- "Abandoned Rails: West Concord to Claremont Junction". abandonedrails.com. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
- "Sugar River Recreational Rail Trail". NH Division of Parks and Recreation. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2014.